May 19, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Celebrating a Century

By Michael Ray

 

On Saturday March 10, the Ocean Park Branch Library welcomed Professor Kenneth Breisch of the University of Southern California School of Architecture. Downstairs, the library’s community room, was filled to capacity as Breisch stood at the podium and presented a slideshow that documented the history of how the Ocean Park Branch library obtained funds for construction. The event, according to Karen Reitz the Branch Manager, was part of an ongoing celebration of Ocean Park Branch Library’s 100th anniversary.

Over the course of his presentation, Breisch illustrated the trail of correspondence that occurred between local library advocates, City of Santa Monica officials and Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish philanthropist who financed the construction of more than 1,500 libraries across the United States. Among the correspondents was Santa Monica’s first and longest-serving librarian, Elfie Mosse.

“In one of her letters to Carnegie,” stated Breisch, “she emphasizes the people’s need for an ‘attraction’ in the area because the neighboring towns had easy access to liquor.” However, according to Breisch a spike in population and tourism also added to the need for an additional library in Santa Monica.

Among the attendees of the presentation were members and supporters of the Santa Monica Conservancy. Sylvia Gentile, who was attending with architect Mario Fonda-Bonardi, Karen Reitz stated that she was amazed at how the “Neoclassical style architecture became an emblem of learning.”

Breisch’s presentation highlighted how the library’s Greco-Roman influence was designed by Frank T. Kegley and H. Scott Gerity, saying that they modeled it after buildings such as the Parthenon. Through months of correspondence and a grant of $12,500, in 1916 Andrew Carnegie set the wheels in motion for a century of learning.

When asked about how the branch has stayed modern Karen Reitz, responded by highlighting some of the cosmetic and structural changes made; furniture donations made by the Friends of the Santa Monica Library; a re-carpeting and interior improvement project held in 2011; new desks and even a self-checkout.

What’s next for the Ocean Park Branch? For more information, visit https://smpl.org/OceanParkBranch.aspx.

Elfie Mosse, Santa Monica’s first and longest serving librarian, wrote to Andrew Carnegie to grant funds for a second library.

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Monica’s temple of knowledge.

 

 

 

 

Branch Manager Karen Reitz assists a library patron. Self-checkout and book baskets on right.

 

 

 

 

 

Attendees Mario Fonda-Bonardi and Sylvia Gentile.

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Kenneth Breisch of the USC School of Architecture spoke about the history of Carnegie Libraries, and their features.
Related Posts

Film Review: The Northman

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE NORTHMANRated R137 MinutesReleased April 22nd If the Vikings of 800-1000 AD had the technology, The Northman is the...

Murray Mednick’s “Three Tables”- Existentialism Meets Theatre of the Absurd

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Murray Mednick’s THREE TABLES is the newest work from the famous poet/playwright who spearheaded New York’s off-off-Broadway movement in the...

Film Review: “The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent”

April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENTRated R107 MinutesReleased April 22nd Watching The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, I got...

Santa Monica Auctions Showcasing World Class Fine Art at Bergamot Station Auction event.

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

Santa Monica Auctions is hosting its bi-annual live outdoor art auction on May 15th at Bergamot Station Arts Center. See...

Help Recruiting for Good Give Back and Join the Fun at the Sweetest Earth Day Parties Ever

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

By Susan Payne  Earth Day is around the corner.  For Carlos Cymerman, founder of Recruiting for Good, that means the...

Santa Monica Bead & Design Show Returns to the Fairmont Miramar!

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

The Santa Monica Bead & Design Show will showcase a fine selection of handcraft and artisan supplies at the Fairmont...

Santa Monica to Host Venice Family Clinic’s Art Walk & Auction Gallery

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

43rd annual Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction re-emerges with an art gallery and NFT auction April 15 –...

Honoring Women’s History Month With ‘Yarn Bomb’ Art Exhibit at Village Green

March 23, 2022

March 23, 2022

Local Palisadian Michelle Villemaire creates the sixth annual ‘Yarn Bomb’ exhibit at Village Green Park. See the exhibit in this...

Local Artists Honored at Legendary Women of Venice Awards

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

Venice Art Crawl hosts the 3rd annual Legendary Women of Venice Awards, find out who was honored in this video...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Stairway of the Stars Returns for in-Person Concert

March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

March 19 concert will feature nearly 900 elementary, middle, and high school students By Sam Catanzaro For the first time...

Young Musicians Take the Stage at John Adams Middle School for the First Time Since March 2020

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

Over 150 students in grades 3–8 will be performing across six different large ensembles Nearly two years after the pandemic...

Interview With Aero Theatre’s Gwen Deglise

February 22, 2022

February 22, 2022

American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise talks about what the theatre has to offer community By Dolores Quintana The Aero Theatre at...